University leaders are unlikely to succeed if they adopt the “heroic leadership” approach favoured by sports teams, a Formula One boss turned vice-chancellor has argued. Nigel Carrington, vice-chancellor of the University of the Arts London, told Advance HE’s leadership summit that the model of “heroic leadership”, in which a charismatic figurehead inspires the workforce to embrace their values and goals, would not work in higher education. “It’s something you see at a lot of football clubs, and when it works it is fine; but when it doesn’t, there is only one way to go – get rid of the leader,” he explained. Instead, university heads should embrace the “consensual” model of leadership used by City law firms run by partners. “Academics are very like lawyers – individualistic, strong, wilful, obstructive and driven by their own desire to be the best in their field,” Carrington said. “You get elected managing partner because people believe you will plug into the values of the firm.” – Jack Grove, Times Higher. Read more

China will establish the first national university dedicated to nuclear research, training and academic exchange with support from the country’s state-owned nuclear power developer, echoing a pressing need for specialised talent. China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the leading conglomerate that oversees all of China’s military and civilian nuclear programs, will invest in and build the China Nuclear Technology University in Tianjin in China’s Northeast, the corporation announced last week. As part of a strategic agreement between the CNNC and the Tianjin municipal government, the new university will function as a base for skills training, postgraduate and PhD programs, as well as core technology research and development. China is actively trying to fill a talent gap in nuclear technology as it rolls out dozens of reactor units and power plants, expected to come online within the next few years. – Amber Ziye Wang, University World News. Read more

The rapid growth of online learning in higher education will likely ebb and even off by 2020, according to a new report. The study, produced by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research, predicts the market will peak at four million students in about two years amid strong competition among colleges, according to Study International. The online course market grew by 3% in 2017. The report provides four key findings: Courses should be mobile friendly, online students need access to career services, online programs are becoming increasingly diverse, and are believed by participants to be a good value. About 86% of online students surveyed said they feel “the value of their degree equals or exceeds the cost they paid for it,” which is a higher percentage than for those who just took traditional face-to-face courses. – James Paterson, Education Dive. Read more

New Zealand needs a national skills strategy and greater collaboration across the tertiary education sector, according to a report from Infometrics. From education to the economy: Megatrends affecting NZ’s working environment examines changes in the workforce that will take place over the next 20 years. “Workers will require increasing access to skills-based training as the workplace continues to rapidly evolve,” argues Infometrics Chief Forecaster Gareth Kiernan. “Too often people are entering the workforce without all the skills required to make an immediate contribution. It is imperative that the content in tertiary education courses is relevant for the workplace.” Infometrics estimates that 31% of current jobs in the New Zealand workforce are at high risk of automation between now and 2036. – Scoop Business. Read more

The UK government has announced the system it will use to register EU citizens as ‘settled citizens’ in the UK after the nation leaves the European Union in March 2019. There are several hundred thousand EU citizens working or studying at UK HEIs, along with many more at other educational institutions. The agreement, announced by immigration minister Caroline Noakes, makes the status available to any EU citizen who has been living in the UK for five years or more on the date of application. There will be a small fee, but those with existing permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain will be able to transfer this to “settled status” for free. The scheme will open in March 2019 and will run until June 2021. – Patrick Atak, The PIE News. Read more


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